Manchester City lifted the League Cup on penalties yesterday but their victory was overshadowed by a truly astonishing passage of drama between Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and his goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
After a tense extra time period it looked as if Chelsea would have to make a substitution late on when Kepa went down with apparent cramp or a possible recurrence of a hamstring injury that kept him out of Thursday’s Europa League victory over Malmo.
Reserve goalkeeper Willy Caballero was stripped and ready to go but Kepa refused to be substituted off.
The 24-year-old visibly waved to the bench to signal that he was not going off, despite Sarri clearly indicating that he wanting to make the sub.
It led to an astonishing few minutes as Sarri walked down the tunnel, only to return, and then he was seen berating Kepa before the shoot-out.
Kepa then failed to cover himself in glory with Sergio Aguero’s penalty when he guessed the right way but let the ball go through his hands.
He did save Leroy Sane’s weak effort but after David Luiz hit the post Raheem Sterling scored the winner to give Manchester City this season’s first piece of silverware, the six time they have won the League Cup.